Editor’s let­ter

Somerset Life - - EDITOR'S LETTER - CATHER­INE COURTENAY,

The in­cred­i­ble photo op­po­site was sent in by reader Mike Jef­feries. It’s not only a stun­ning im­age, it also cap­tures an his­toric mo­ment. The day when it was taken, when the Red Ar­rows did a fly past over Glas­ton­bury, will be re­mem­bered by lo­cal peo­ple - it will have been recorded on so­cial me­dia and, you never know, may even end up in a news­pa­per archive some­where.

There’s also the lovely jux­ta­po­si­tion of the mod­ern jets above St Michael’s tower and this an­cient mys­ti­cal site.

We’ve taken a few steps back in time in this is­sue. Pub­lic clocks fea­ture in towns, cities and on church tow­ers ev­ery­where, but they’re of­ten over­looked, es­pe­cially these days, which is a shame be­cause there are in­cred­i­ble sto­ries be­hind some of Som­er­set’s fa­mous time­pieces - as Imo­gen Wind­sor re­veals in her fea­ture this month.

One per­son who was def­i­nitely ahead of her time was Ada Lovelace. The daugher of Lord Byron was, many ex­perts be­lieve, the first com­puter pro­gram­mer. This Vic­to­rian woman was taught math­e­mat­ics by her mother, then went on to be­come friends with com­puter pi­o­neer Charles Bab­bage. When he started mak­ing his ‘cal­cu­lat­ing ma­chine’, she chipped in and wrote a ground­break­ing al­go­rithum. This is an ex­tra­or­di­nary and in­spir­ing tale and one which has deep con­nec­tions to this county.

Past ac­tions, events and cre­ations may have only been lit­tle mo­ments in time, but they some­times cause rip­ples which reach way into the fu­ture.

And, how­ever last­ing their im­pact, they cer­tainly cre­ate some won­der­ful sto­ries, as you’ll dis­cover in this month’s pages.

The Red Ar­rows fly­past over Glas­ton­bury

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